- Can we request our own song choices?
- When should we book a DJ?
- My venue has asked for a PLI certificate, have you got one?
- Can we meet you to discuss our function?
- Do you provide a written contract?
- Will the DJ I was expecting be the DJ who turns up at my party?
- Do you have any form of backup with you?
- Is your equipment tested for electrical safety regularly?
- Can my DJ friend do a set at my party using your kit?
- Will you be suitably dressed?
- Do you talk in between the tracks?
- I have lost the username or password for the online music selection tool, what should I do, and how does it work?
- Do you provide Karaoke?
- Where do you travel to?
- How and when do we pay you for your services?
- Are there any hidden costs?
- How did Trump get into the White House?
- How much do you charge for 4 hours?
- Should I hire a band or DJ for my wedding?
- Should I just use an iPod instead of a DJ for my wedding?
Can we request our own song choices?
Playing the right music is key to the success of your wedding party. So, finding out exactly what you and your guests like and dislike is absolutely crucial in my view. Although I am highly experienced in entertaining at weddings, I would not presume to second guess what you like and dislike!
When you book my services, I provide you with a unique event login for planning your wedding music. This allows you to browse, listen to, and select music requests for several key areas. Typically for a wedding, I would like to know the following in advance:
- special requests for first dances etc...
- specific music requests to be played without fail
- specific music requests to be played if possible
- music to be avoided at all costs
- background music choices for drinks reception or wedding breakfast
- ceremony music choices
Given this information, I can guarantee you and your guests will have a fabulous time at your wedding.
When we meet, I explain and demonstrate how this simple system works, and provide you with a list of most requested music at weddings. This is very useful inspiration for what NOT to play as well as giving you ideas of different types of music you may wish to choose for your wedding.
When should we book a DJ?
Your wedding is the most important day of your lives, and you want the entertainment to be very special. You want your guests to have a fabulous time. A brief search of wedding resources such as bridal magazines, blogs and websites seem to advise you to start searching for your DJ about 9 months before your wedding date. This perceived wisdom is flawed if you are after anything other than just an average wedding DJ which there are plenty of!
Most people who get in touch about their wedding entertainment wit a few months to go will unfortunately receive the reply: "I'm so sorry I can't help, I am already booked for this date".
The very best wedding professionals are seldom available at short notice, so it is essential that you inquire about availability as soon as you have booked the venue for your wedding. This ensures that you have the best choice of quality suppliers for your big day, and that you will not be let down.
I typically am booked about 18 - 24 months in advance for weddings, this means that many key dates are no longer available, and once I am booked I cannot accept new enquiries.
There are some great advantages to booking early: You will get the best deal as the annual price rise will not have been factored in. You will have your choice of DJ, not whoever is left available. Oh, and you don't have to pay in full in advance, so it's much easier to spread the costs.
My venue has asked for a PLI certificate, have you got one?
What is PLI?
PLI is short for Public Liability Insurance. This insurance covers claims arising for compensation and legal expenses by people who may have suffered a loss or have been injured as a result of the policy holders’ business activities.
Ensure all your vendors are insured
Every business which works on client’s premises needs PLI. Also, any business which employs staff must also have Employers Liability insurance. This is required regardless of whether these staff are paid or just friends, colleagues, of family just helping out.
If your wedding venue has asked if your chosen wedding vendors have PLI, this is quite normal, and your vendors should be able to provide this information easily. Should they not be able to provide proof of insurance, ask yourself if you have hired a professional who has all your interests covered for your big day!
When you book my services, you can rest assured that I have both PLI and Employers Liability Insurance. I have a £10,000,000 worldwide policy and will contact your venue to provide this information as part of my service.
Can we meet you to discuss our function?
ABSOLUTELY - YES!
Beware of any DJ who will not allow you to meet. I always offer to meet my clients in person or at the very least chat over the phone. This is important on several fronts - first, you will want to make sure that you are 100% comfortable with me as your DJ. Then, we can also discuss your function in full detail, and any special or extra requirements such as themed lighting, PA for speeches or mood lighting for example. This important meeting gives me a really good idea of what kind of music you like and how you want your event to run before you need to make any commitment to hiring me as your DJ. Should you need to meet me again, this is no problem as I offer full support from the moment you make a booking with me.
We can meet in a number of ways, depending on where you are based, we can arrange to meet here at my home in Southwater, at your home, somewhere else or by Skype, Whatsapp or FaceTime video call. I have an app for choosing a convenient time slot which I will send you a link to when you have enquired.
Of course, not everyone thinks their entertainment is important enough to warrant us meeting. There's no problem with this, these people are not my clients!
Do you provide a written contract?
Any entertainer should provide you with a written agreement including a schedule of timing, location, costs, and services offered for your event. Once you have chosen me to be your DJ, I generate an agreement with all the details of your function which is then sent to you. More details can be found in my terms of service.
My terms and conditions were prepared by a specialist solicitor on behalf of SEDA, the South Eastern Discotheque Association, which I am a member of, and have to abide by their sensible code of conduct. These terms are deemed to be fair to both parties. I am also a member of the National association of DJs - NADJ, and also have to abide by their code of conduct. I have also been audited and approved by West Sussex Trading Standards for the Buy with Confidence scheme, and they did inspect these terms too.
Will the DJ I was expecting be the DJ who turns up at my party?
There are many agencies and multi-operator companies out there. With them, you may find that the DJ you book for you party will not be the one who turns up on the night. Some agencies do also visit you, but then send a different DJ for your party (they assign the DJ at a later stage). With me, you are not subject to this uncertainty as I will provide you with a written contract stating who the DJ is at your party (me), and therefore there are no nasty surprises. Once I am booked for a party, I will not be available for other enquiries.
Do you have any form of backup with you?
Even the best professional equipment can fail, so as to minimise this, your entertainer should carry enough backup equipment to be able to continue his work. Some mobile DJ's carry very little or no backup, others leave their backup equipment at home, hoping that a quick trip back will resolve all their problems. At every event, I have spare equipment for everything critical with me so that ‘the show can go on’ if something goes wrong.
Is your equipment tested for electrical safety regularly?
Every entertainer should have his equipment tested for electrical safety on a regular basis. Typically, DJ's have their equipment PAT tested every year, and they should be able to produce a PAT test certificate on demand. Again, the venue management may need to see this in advance. Your entertainer should also expect your venue to provide a safe working environment, and a safe electrical supply. All my equipment is PAT tested every autumn, certificates can be examined on demand.
Can my DJ friend do a set at my party using your kit?
Yes, of course they can! A lot of mobile DJ companies will try and discourage this, but it will bring a lot of additional fun to your party, and this can be arranged very easily in advance. I use club industry standard mixing equipment, so they will be completely at home performing on this. I can supply 2 Pioneer XJD-1000MK2 decks, a Pioneer DJM-900 nexus mixer, and I can even bring a pair of Technics SL1200 MKII turntables too!
Will you be suitably dressed?
Your entertainer should be presentable at your party. If you are holding a formal evening party, make sure the DJ can blend in with your guests with suitable clothing - smart, casual, suit or even black tie. If your evening party is going to be themed or more relaxed, make sure you let the DJ know what you expect him to wear for the performance. Whilst setting up and dismantling his equipment, your entertainer may need to be in casual clothing, but there is no excuse for a shabbily dressed DJ. I'm always smartly dressed!
Do you talk in between the tracks?
No! But I do make clear and well articulated announcements when they are required. I am able to mix seamlessly to a club DJ standard, so you will not find me embarrassing your guests with inane and pointless banter in between the tracks to cover up my lack of technical skills! This means that people are more likely to enjoy the night and stay on the dance floor.
I have lost the username or password for the online music selection tool, what should I do, and how does it work?
Each one of my clients has access to their own online music selection and planning tool. This, amongst other things, allows them to listen to and choose the music for every aspect of their wedding day. If you have not yet received the login information or you have lost the details, just get in touch with me, I will help you out!
Once you have your own login details, this quick guide shows you how it works.
Where do you travel to?
From my base in Southwater, near Horsham in West Sussex, I cover all the home counties, the South East, and will happily travel further afield all over the UK for your wedding.
How and when do we pay you for your services?
When you sign and return the agreements, 30% of the total fee is due as an advance payment. The balance is due up to 30 days before the event, and can be paid in one lump sum or by installments if you wish.
Payments can be made by bank transfer, credit/debit card, cash, or even by cheque. Just ask me for details.
Are there any hidden costs?
No, there are no hidden costs. The price you have agreed to once we have exchanged agreements will include everything we have included in the agreement. There is no VAT to pay either. If however, you decide you want to book extra services we have not agreed, just get in touch as this will mean we have to recalculate the fee.
How did Trump get into the White House?
I have no idea...
How much do you charge for 4 hours?
Many people think that they can ask this question as a valid measure of how a mobile DJ charges for their time. In reality, the hours worked on an evening party are never 'just 4 hours'. Setting up, and packing down takes up to an hour for each, as does travelling, so this alone would add up to 4 hours without even thinking of the performance time! Let's take an example: you think you need me from 8pm to 11pm - that's 4 hours. You actually need me to arrive by 6pm to set up. I would have loaded the van at 4pm and left at about 5pm. An 11pm finish means I leave the venue at midnight, and get back to my base at 1am. So even on the day itself, that 4 hours actually translates as 4pm to 1am which is 8 hours.
My fees depend on the amount of work I put in for each wedding. Most of this work is done outside the wedding day itself, with client meetings, event preparation, music editing, and many other aspects. Therefore, it is impossible to price an hourly rate for the evening. To do this, I will ask for us to meet for a chat. From this, I will find out what your needs and wants are and then will be able to provide you with an accurate quotation.
My fees can range from £500 to £2500 for the various services I offer. Most of my clients however pay between £700 and £1100 for their wedding. Once you have enquired, I will ask a few questions so that I can give you an accurate quote without charging you for the services you don’t need. My aim is to make this as easy as possible for you whilst offering exceptional value for money.
So, go ahead, ask me how much I charge for 4 hours! I will tell you instead how much I charge for about 22 hours on your wedding, which is roughly the average time I will spend on it....
Should I hire a band or DJ for my wedding?
It's a great question which couples often ask themselves. A band is a live act, so can be very enjoyable if you have a particular taste or theme. If you have the higher budget for a band, and the space to accommodate them on stage, you should certainly consider this option. The main downsides of hiring a band for your evening party is that they have a limited repertoire, may not be to everyone's tastes, and will need breaks. Be aware that the "DJ" they may promise during these breaks can be no more than a pre loaded list of tracks on an iPod.
A good DJ on the other hand will be far more flexible. They have access to tens of thousands of songs through a lovingly curated music collection, and being able to adjust dynamically on the spot can make a huge difference to how your guests enjoy the evening. The mobile DJ can also fit in a very compact space if required, and will not need breaks during the party.
Many venues now have sound limiters in use which cut the power once a volume level has been exceeded. Many bands will find it difficult to "turn the volume down", so if you venue has a sound limiter, it would be wise to check if they can as no one wants a party constantly interrupted. DJs are more able to work within these limitations, and I certainly have no problems getting the right party going at these venues.
Maybe, if budget allows, you should consider hiring both a band and a DJ. This way, the band could provide the specialist entertainment you love, and the DJ can fill in the gaps and finish the party off with a perfect party set! Get in touch if you would like recommendations for some brilliant live acts and bands I have worked with.
Don't forget that a band may also need the time to do a sound check to perfect the balance of the mix of all the musicians. This can be quite disruptive to your wedding reception if it's in the same room as your wedding breakfast for example. A DJ doesn't need to do a sound check as such.
Should I just use an iPod instead of a DJ for my wedding?
Your own iPod or Spotify list loaded with your favourites to rock the party at your wedding seems on the surface to be a great idea. After all, you can guarantee the music will be exactly what you want, and many DJs are notoriously bad at doing what their clients want. There will be no embarrassing chat, just your music, right?
Who needs a DJ for a wedding when an iPod will do? After all, you know what tunes you like to party to, and a good DJ is so expensive. Here is a recent reply from a client when I asked them what they had experienced at an other wedding:
Q: What did you NOT like at previous weddings you’ve attended?
A: We went to a wedding where there was no DJ and just an iPod plugged in and it was awful- literally nobody danced all evening!
Sophie and Andreas, 2019
Using an iPod or a Spotify list for your wedding is really not a viable idea at all for many reasons. You will still need to hire some PA equipment which will need to be collected, set up, dismantled, and returned. A DJ would bring their own high quality sound system, and a vast collection of legal music.
iPods don't mix music, whereas a good DJ will be able to correctly mix and therefore keep the flow of the evening going for you and your guests.
iPods don't take requests. A good DJ will be able to take requests so long as they are not on your don't you dare list!
On a few occasions, I have hired out PA or lighting equipment to clients who did not want a DJ for their party as they were really worried about how bad it could be. On each occasion, when I turned up near the end of the party to collect the equipment, the party had fizzled out much earlier, and most people had left. This is such a shame, as I know how to keep a party going to the very end, and had I been DJing, this would have never happened.
There are many other reasons not to DIY your party, but this graphic sums it up well if you do!